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  1. #1
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    Things I like and hate about winter cycling

    Like

    - riding through fresh snow
    - big fat snowflakes
    - how clean the air feels
    - sun off the snow
    - people thinking you are mad and/or have ninja bike skills
    - riding down a deserted, silent bike path or foot trail and everything is hushed and still
    - when it's over

    Hate

    - ice
    - slush
    - cold feet
    - freezing rain combined with h igh wind... it just gets in no matter what I wear
    - how dark it is all the time
    - brown, bare trees, everything grey and dead
    - waking up and it's still dark, hearing the wind howling outside, and I have to get out of bed and go
    - all the prep to get ready
    - people are meaner and angrier in the winter
    - car exhaust!
    - snowplows, the great big ones that go fast
    - salt and grit all over me and my bike

  2. #2
    Frame Catastrophizer mikewille's Avatar
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    I hate those warm foggy sewage-flavored updrafts that come up out of the sewers.

  3. #3
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    I forgot this one, I hate the sounds of car tires skidding behind you as you ride down the road

  4. #4
    Senior Member katcorot's Avatar
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    idiotic speeding SUV's spraying you with slush
    2008 Giant Rincon, multi-purpose commuting, trail riding.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I really like riding in the city center when it's so cold out that many cars just won't start and traffic is extremely light. The crisp sound of the snow and ice crunching under my tires is lovely.

  6. #6
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Riding on the frozen sea. We don't often get good conditions for that, there's usually too much snow on ice. But for a couple of days a year, the sea belongs to bikers and long distance skaters.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  7. #7
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    I always find cars to be more patient in the winter -- maybe because on their way to work they are already anticipating being later than usual.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  8. #8
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Ice is my favorite part. I rarely get it, but riding on glare ice is lots of fun.

  9. #9
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I plan on toughing up this winter and braving the snow and ice. But now you're scaring me.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I plan on toughing up this winter and braving the snow and ice. But now you're scaring me.
    If you will be riding on ice seriously consider studded tires. The initial layout is large, but quality ones will last for four or five seasons.

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Nah. I live in Noo Joizy, and we rarely get ice that stays on the roads, and it's usually in small patches and doesn't cover the whole road. I'd LOVE to try studded tires on ice but don't have enough ice to ride on.

    One problem with preparing for winter is that our winters vary widely. Some are pretty snowy; some have little to no snow at all.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Nah. I live in Noo Joizy, and we rarely get ice that stays on the roads, and it's usually in small patches and doesn't cover the whole road. I'd LOVE to try studded tires on ice but don't have enough ice to ride on.

    One problem with preparing for winter is that our winters vary widely. Some are pretty snowy; some have little to no snow at all.
    It's the small patches of black ice that are really dangerous. You're happily riding along and all of a sudden your front tire slips out from in front of you and before you even know what's happened you are on the ground. Seriously consider a lightly studded tire if there is any ice at all.

  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Good point. I will consider it seriously.

    Would it be foolish to put it only on the front?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Good point. I will consider it seriously.

    Would it be foolish to put it only on the front?
    I honestly don't know as I've never ridden with one just on the front, but I'd venture to guess that it's better than either nothing or one only on the rear.

  15. #15
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Good point. I will consider it seriously.

    Would it be foolish to put it only on the front?
    Peter White has a vested interest here of course, but I think his comments are good. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.asp, scroll down to "One Tire in Front?" section. Bottom line: not really worth the savings.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I know it is anti to getting people on bikes but I love how cold weather clears the trail for all but a hand full of people and those handfull are always much nicer it seems.
    " Vado velieris in lacuna sis , is mos non change a res. Vereor ususfructus a vir nusquam."
    Translation: "Hide your head in a hole if you wish, it does not change a thing. Fear profits a man nothing!"

    “You are trying to motivate me, and I find that offensive!” -- John G. (A co-worker)

  17. #17
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    Love:
    Hearing the spinning of car tires at lights as I go on by...

    Hate:
    Snowplows plowing a pile of snow on the curb of the bike/walking path...

  18. #18
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Good point. I will consider it seriously.

    Would it be foolish to put it only on the front?
    There's a sticky on making your own studded tires (and chains); as you can imagine, it's far more cost effective. A popular option is to use 1/2" sheet metal screw driven into the tire from the inside. You then need to use a liner between the tire and the tube. I chose to use another option described in the sticky since I bought cheap knobby tires that seem to have a good tread pattern for snow. I used 3/8" hex head sheet metal screws driven into the outside knobbies at an angle to avoid puncturing the tire. Here's a photo to give you an idea. You'd be able to make 2 of your own studded tires for less than the cost of one commercial tire. Good luck.


    What do I hate about winter riding--the cold. I don't have my pogies yet and yesterday I made the mistake of not having anything on my ears. It was a short ride--I headed back when my ears started aching.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene2308 View Post
    I always find cars to be more patient in the winter -- maybe because on their way to work they are already anticipating being later than usual.
    I can tell you don't live in Michigan, where the 4x4 SUV is king. You would think that with snow and ice coming around the same time every year, that the people in this state could figure out how to stay on the road, especially if they they have FWD/AWD/anti-lock brakes. Or maybe I'm just getting cycnical.

    edit. Oh, and learn to slow down when the snow flies.

    (Yes, I include myself in the above description-to a point-but I don't own an SUV).
    Last edited by petflunky; 11-03-09 at 06:38 PM.

  20. #20
    Frame Catastrophizer mikewille's Avatar
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    Once they get frozen good and solid, I love riding up and over the piles of snow that
    get piled up everywhere.

  21. #21
    Senior Member rbrsddn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    Ice is my favorite part. I rarely get it, but riding on glare ice is lots of fun.
    +1 I love the sound of the studs biting into the ice. Hopefully we get some good ice this winter...
    1999 Fat Chance Ti
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  22. #22
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    nwmtnbkr, thanks for pointing that out. I might do that. I have a huge pile of surplus mountain bike tires here, so the cost of a pair of studded tires would be close to $0 for me.

    I went out today wearing sandals and no socks. It was 40-something Fahrenheit, bright and clear, not too windy. My feet got cold. (Duh.) My eyes teared up. I wore summer gloves. My hands didn't get cold. OK, so next time, I'll try thick socks with my sandals. I want to see how low I can go with the sandals since they have SPD cleats. Hmm, maybe I can put neoprene booties over them. You think?

    I need some sort of eye wear. I had some sunglasses with interchangeable lenses, and one pair was almost totally colorless. That would be lovely, but I dropped them and broke them. I might buy another pair. What do you folks wear on your eyes? I wear glasses normally, but my correction is weak, so I can ride safely without it.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  23. #23
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    The thing I hate most about Winter cycling is the cold. Other than that... I hate getting part way down a trail and having to turn around because of moose. I hate stopping and having my glasses fog up. I hate having to stop, period and cool down and need to get another layer on then after starting up needing to take that layer off. I used to hate ice on my rims but now with disc brakes I don't care. On roads I hate the ridges cars make. It makes moving left or right quite the difficult thing at times. But I love clear, cold air. In the summer when somebody honks I take it as an effyou! but in the Winter I take it as "Good going!" :0.

  24. #24
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katcorot View Post
    idiotic speeding SUV's spraying you with slush
    Getting slush sprayed is more to do with your cities road maintenance for not fixing up pot holes and roads with poor drainage system. It is like saying, I hate those idiotic cars that turn on their headlamps that is so glaring to me.
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  25. #25
    Bicyclerider4life
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    Ice is my favorite part. I rarely get it, but riding on glare ice is lots of fun.
    I agree. Is there anything more fun (or impressive to the ladies ) than going sideways, backwards, over cars, trees, bushes, retaining walls, and upside down on your bike? If yer REALLY good, (and lucky) you can do all seven simultaneously! I miss those days ...
    "Whenever I see an adult riding a bicycle, I know there is hope for mankind." (H. G. Wells)

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